Swiss clear sale of Orange Switzerland to Apax

The Swiss Competition Commission (Comco) said on Friday that it had approved British buyout firm Apax's purchase of Orange Switzerland from France Telecom.

This content was published on February 17, 2012 - 08:47 and agencies

It was announced in December 2011 that the number three in the Swiss telecoms market would be sold to Apax for SFr2 billion ($2.2 billion). However, the move was subject to the go-ahead from the Swiss authorities.

In a statement, Comco said that it had no objections to the deal. “The preliminary check has not found any evidence that the planned purchase would create or reinforce a market dominant position,” it said.

The French telecom firm's original plan, to merge Orange Switzerland with Sunrise to better compete with market leader Swisscom, was blocked by the competition body in 2010.

Founded in 1999, Orange Switzerland had 1.6 million customers as of the end of September 2011. It employs around 1,200 people. Its turnover was SFr1.3 billion in 2010.

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